Continuing to build on its strategy of showcasing “slightly off” comedies that appeal to its young male audience, IFC announced today it has acquired the complete series of Judd Apatow’s Emmy(R)-winning high school comedy “Freaks and Geeks” (18 episodes) and college spinoff “Undeclared” (17 episodes) from Paramount Pictures Corporation. These two cult TV hits helped launch the careers of Jay Baruchel, Jenna Fischer, James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel, among other young stars. “Freaks and Geeks” will premiere on IFC on Friday, July 2 at 11 pm, et/pt, and encore on Mondays at 11 pm and Sundays at 10 pm. “Undeclared” will debut on IFC this fall. A previously unaired episode of “Undeclared” will make its U.S. television debut on IFC.
“These acquisitions help further solidify IFC as the destination for programming that shares an off-kilter sensibility with its audience, particularly within the comedy genre,” said Jennifer Caserta, Executive Vice President & General Manager of IFC. “Judd Apatow is a comedic genius with a loyal fan base of young men. This same audience comes to IFC for new and rescued shows they can’t find anywhere else. Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared will be right at home on IFC alongside other comedies, like Arrested Development, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Whitest Kids U’ Know, and the upcoming The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret from David Cross, and Onion News Network.”
“We are pleased that Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared can soon be enjoyed again by television audiences on IFC,” said Hal Richardson, President of Paramount Worldwide Television Distribution. “We believe that IFC is the perfect home to give them renewed life as well as introduce them to a new fan base who can watch the series that helped launch the careers of some of today’s brightest comedic talents.”
“Freaks and Geeks” is set in the 1980s at McKinley High where there’re two different groups of teenagers: the Freaks with cool and charismatic Daniel Desario (James Franco, “Pineapple Express”) and tomboy Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini, “ER”), and the Geeks with Lindsay’s shy younger brother Sam (John Francis Daley, “Bones”), gentle Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr, “Knocked Up”), and self-proclaimed ladies’ man Neal Schweiber (Samm Levine, “I Love You, Beth Cooper”). The series was executive produced by Judd Apatow (“Get Him to the Greek”); series writers include Paul Feig (“The Office”) and series directors include Jake Kasdan. It was produced by Apatow Productions in association with DreamWorks Television and aired for one season on NBC (1999-2000) and also starred Seth Rogen (“Knocked Up”) and Jason Segel (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”).
“Undeclared” paired creator and executive producer Apatow with directors such as Kasdan together again along with stars Seth Rogen and Jason Segel. The series, which was also produced by Apatow Productions in association with DreamWorks Television, aired on FOX for one season (2001-2002). The comedy series follows an eclectic group of college freshmen as they experience their first year at the University of North Eastern California (UNEC). College life is seen through the eyes of the new and improved Steven Karp (Jay Baruchel, “Tropic Thunder”), who goes from scrawny high school nerd to potentially handsome college guy over the course of one summer. The series also features Jenna Fischer (“The Office”), Carla Gallo (“Get Him to the Greek”) and Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy”).
The deal was brokered by Dina Vangelisti, Senior Vice President for Paramount Worldwide Television Distribution, U.S. and Canada, and Christian Vesper, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions, for IFC.